Healthcare in Rio de Janeiro

International healthcare, medical insurance in Rio de Janeiro

Home > Expat Guides > South America > Brazil > Rio de Janeiro

By law, everyone has a right to treatment, from organ transplants to sex-change operations. The state provides basic health care to all citizens with the option to buy private health insurance. Only about 20 percent of the population can pay for additional private insurance.

Private Insurance

The public health system is largely financed by the public sector. Any person who is legally in the country has access to the national health care system. Patients pay nothing at all for doctors' fees, lab fees, hospitalization, surgery, and prescription drugs.

However, for the best access to facilities, it is necessary to purchase additional private health insurance. A high proportion of hospital institutions and beds belong to the private sector, with the responsibility for the health clinics under the direction of the public sector, especially in the poorer regions of the country. Private insurance allows you to choose the doctor, laboratory or hospital from a list of accredited professionals and institutions. You can include or exclude treatment options like dental, specialists for skin or eye problems as well as hospital services, which will influence the monthly payment for the insurance.

There are several hundred firms offering four principal types of medical plans: private health insurance, prepaid group practice, medical cooperatives, and company health plans.

Some hospitals offer insurance directly. However, all exams and consultations have to be done in that specific hospital.

Before agreeing to a contract. Contact the local consumer defense organization (PROCON) to get more information about the reputation and the quality of the company and the health insurance.

Employer Insurance

As a benefit, private insurance may be offered through the employing company. This may or may not require you to pay into the system (which would be automatically deducted from your salary). This is the easiest way to acquire insurance, but may not have the specific coverage you desire.

Update 16/01/2013


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

Expatriate health insurance

Expatriate health insurance in Brazil

With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Rio de Janeiro is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Brazil. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover! works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.

Insurance solutions to suit your profile and with the flexibility to meet your insurance needs

Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Brazil: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.

For more information on expat health insurance in Brazil, visit our partner APRIL International

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about international healthcare, medical insurance in Rio de Janeiro, healthcare.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).